Can our unconscious minds predict the stock market?

Northwestern University & University of Colorado, Boulder
Evanston, Illinois
PsychologyEconomics
Open Access
DOI: 10.18258/3356
$26,395
Raised
105%
Funded on 6/27/15
Successfully Funded
  • $26,395
    pledged
  • 105%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 6/27/15

About This Project

Thirty years of data suggest that non-conscious processing correlates with future events. We have used this idea to make money on the stock market, but our past results could be due to chance. In this project we examine three approaches that could produce reliable guesses about the market shifts over 120 days. We are interested in shedding light on the underlying mechanisms and opening the scientific conversation about the psychology and physics of time. Proceeds go to the Seva Foundation.

Ask the Scientists

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What is the context of this research?

A growing research literature, including our own work, suggests that humans have non-conscious access to information about upcoming events that should otherwise be unpredictable. This seems strange to our conscious minds, because most of us don't normally experience knowing what the future will bring, except in obvious cases. Previous work suggests that we must use tricks to access this non-conscious information, like asking people to draw pictures of future images that are associated to events (associated remote viewing or ARV), or asking people to dream about the future (precognitive dreaming). We plan to test whether predictions made in this way are consistent over time, and if so, assess which methods are most accurate so we can create a theory about the mechanisms underlying them.

What is the significance of this project?

This experiment offers a challenge to the classical notions of time and consciousness. This is a high-risk/high-reward project that could potentially result in a future-prediction tool that could help us prepare for unfortunate events.

It's important to note that to avoid biased guesses, only the automatic software running the experiment will have access to the link between an image and a predicted direction of market change -- so even a market expert can't beat the system.

This experiment is a reminder to the scientific community that although we like to think we know what the laws of nature are, we are far from truly understanding time. Regardless of the results of this experiment the reminder of our relative ignorance will spark research interest in the physics and the psychology of time.

What are the goals of the project?

We plan to test the hypothesis that precognitive dreaming and remote viewing of images that will be presented in the future and are tied to stock market changes (ARV), can be used to make useful predictions about stock fluctuations. We predict two things.

One, dreams will produce more accurate guesses about stock market changes than ARV because dreams are more directly related to non-conscious processes.

Two, dreaming by a devoted precognitive dreamer and ARV by by devoted ARVers will produce accurate stock market predictions at a rate that is significantly above chance.

If successful, we will have part of the knowledge required to continue pursuing the development of a future-prediction system based on human non-conscious processing.



Budget

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Because the experiment entails making stock market bets, we need an investment pool to make bets. The three pool will be split between: bets by a devoted precognitive dreamer and bets by devoted ARVers. So we need $15,000 just for the investment pool.

Because of the nature of the experiment requires independent judging we will be contracting judges. Finally the consulting fees are essential to get the research up and running as fast as possible.

If we are lucky enough to exceed our originally planned budget, we will put excess donations toward any additional consulting or financial fees. After those are paid, we will add the remaining donations to our investment pools. At the end of the experiment, any funds in our investment pools donated through Experiment.com and any profit from those funds will be donated to the Seva Foundation (after paying financial taxes).

We will alert all backers how much was donated at the end of the experiment!


Endorsed by

This project is important because it has the potential to finesse long-standing scientific controversies about the existence of psi phenomena. As best as we can tell from dozens of laboratory studies, precognition really does exist. It tends to be a weak effect in the lab, and it isn't highly robust, but nevertheless it's real. (And it doesn't violate known physics.) This experiment seeks to pragmatically demonstrate the effect in a way that will appeal far beyond the cloisters of academia -- by making money. Well worth it.
Julia Mossbridge is an excellent scientist with solid training in cognitive neuroscience, especially in the area of multi-sensory perception. Although I am not sufficiently informed on the project to comment on its scientific merit, I believe Julia possesses the will, creativity, perseverance and skills to uncover something interesting regarding the role of unconscious processing in decision making.
This is a genuinely important project that has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of human consciousness and its place in the physical world. The team has an outstanding rigorous academic pedigree and is very well suited to carry out the research. Even if (as seems quite possible) this project fails to make significant predictions of future market activity, it would importantly inform the long-standing scientific debate about precognition.
This project is an ambitious attempt to test for precognitive knowledge in a real-world context using established laboratory protocols and controls. Both scientists are well-versed in the relevant scientific literatures in psychology, neuroscience, and physics, and each has an established track record in designing and conducting rigorous research in both conventional and controversial topics within these disciplines.

Meet the Team

Julia Mossbridge & Garret Moddel
Julia Mossbridge & Garret Moddel

Team Bio

Dr. Mossbridge's interest in how time is perceived by unconscious and conscious processes has led her to examine aspects of both cognitive and perceptual timing as well as more seemingly bizarre reverse-temporal effects. She is the 2014 winner of the Charles Honorton Integrative Contributions award and the inventor of the patent-pending Choice Compass decision-making application, in her role as Research Director at Mossbridge Institute. Julia's Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders is from Northwestern University, her M.A. in Neuroscience is from the University of California at San Francisco, and she received her B.A. with highest honors in neuroscience from Oberlin College. She also plays clawhammer banjo and loves to go Scottish dancing.

Dr. Moddel describes his path in the following way, "I spent most of my career doing essentially quantum engineering, which is engineering little devices based upon quantum mechanical principles. Then about ten years ago on Sabbatical, I got in contact by accident with a physicist who had a library full of books on the science of psychic phenomena.... I ended up spending the whole Sabbatical going through his library. After that, I was convinced that this is really where the new science and revolutionary ideas are going to come from, so I still continue my mainstream research ,and most of my colleagues don't know about my psi phenomena research, although it is on my website. I think they choose not to know."

Additional Information


All donations sent through Experiment.com will go towards the costs of this experiment. If we raise more than the minimum required amount, additional funds will go into our investment pools. At the end of the experiment, all funds in our investment pools donated through Experiment.com, as well as any profits obtained from those funds, will be donated to the Seva Foundation after the payment of financial processing fees and taxes.


Photo credit for stock trading floor at the top of this page: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid.


Project Backers

  • 26Backers
  • 105%Funded
  • $26,395Total Donations
  • $245.96Average Donation
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